Earlier this year, Apple launched a program that allowed digital magazine publishers to easily sell subscriptions through iTunes. Unfortunately, the deal came with some hefty restrictions that made it hard for small publishers to make a profit. Now, Apple has decided to relax the rules and in turn, will probably make more money than ever.
The original rule required publishers who used iPad or iPhone apps to sell their subscriptions through the app, giving Apple a 30% cut. Under the new rules, this is no longer a requirement.
Even harsher was a requirement stating that publishers who did sell through iTunes, couldn’t offer a cheaper alternative anywhere else, including their own websites. The new rules allow publishers to set the price points any way they see fit.
Since digital magazine subscriptions are so new, there are no hard numbers for what works in regard to selling price and where it’s sold. Under the new Apple rules, publishers will now be able to test a variety of scenarios to come up with the one that works for them.
Why did Apple change the rules? Surely not out of the goodness of their hearts. More likely, they realized that being a benevolent dictator was better for business than being a monopolizing tyrant.